Man convicted of second-degree murder in 2019 homicide
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – Jonathan Lozada was convicted of murder on Friday for killing Justin Reyes on Dec. 17, 2019.
According to the state’s attorney’s office, the jury took only about 30 minutes to return the guilty verdict. State’s Attorney Larry Basford said Lozada shot that victim twice in the head and then filmed himself bragging about it from the crime scene.
During the trial, prosecutors Peter Overstreet and Josh James presented testimony from 18 witnesses over the course of two days. They also showed videotapes that the accused had taken of himself at the victim’s home in Panama City.
According to the prosecution, the videos included one of the defendants and others including the victim, speaking and joking at around 11:20 p.m. They said at around 11:40 p.m. the defendant took video of himself bragging about killing the victim with the body behind. him.
“This was a thorough and well-conducted investigation by the Bay County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies,” lead prosecutor Peter Overstreet said after the verdict. “This murder was the picture of evil based on the defendant’s recording after essentially executing the victim by shooting him twice in the head at point-blank range.”
Officials said testimony and evidence at trial showed Reyes was most likely sitting at his computer desk when he was shot twice in the head at close range. The court reports that Reyes was shot in the face and once in the back of the head.
According to the prosecution, Lozada took items from Reye’s home and then returned to his home in Panama City Beach. This is where they report that Lozada showed a roommate the video he made and a second roommate also saw part of the video.
It was noted that the housemates called the Panama City Beach Police Department, but Lozada was not home when they arrived.
Police said they returned at 5:55 a.m. when Lozada returned home and found bloodstained clothing and several 9mm rounds on the defendants’ bed.
The PCBPD determined that the defendant was driven by a friend. The friend told police he had been with the accused earlier and gave police the address which was in unincorporated Bay County.
Deputies from the Bay County Sheriff’s Office checked the house and found the victim. A search warrant for the accused’s phone led law enforcement to uncover crime scene videos.
It was reported that the friend admitted to being at this residence with the accused but had left before the shooting. Authorities said the friend later admitted the defendant asked him for a ride after the shooting and helped him dispose of the evidence.
“Thanks to the tireless work and dedication of the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, justice was served today and the jury returned the correct verdict,” Prosecutor James said. “While nothing will ever bring Justin Reyes back, I hope and pray that today’s verdict brings some comfort to his family. The citizens of Bay County are safer because of Jonathan’s sentencing. Lozada.
Under Florida’s 10-20-Life statute, Lozada faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years and up to life in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for September 29.
Copyright 2022 WJHG. All rights reserved.